Three states are at risk of losing their No Child Left Behind waivers if they are not able to effectively tie teacher evaluations to student achievement, the Education Department said Thursday.
Kansas, Oregon, and Washington state all had their waiver statuses continued for the 2013-2014 academic year, but are required to submit a plan next month for how they will match up their system for evaluating teachers and federal guidelines. Failure to comply could mean the loss of some federal money plus control of how they evaluate their school districts, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday
"What we really need if for states to commit to a solution to show what works for them and meets our broad parameters," an Education Department official told the Journal.
This is the first time the Education Department has deemed some states at risk of losing their waiver status. Oregon says it will appeal, Washington says it will try to comply, and Kansas has not decided how it will respond to the ultimatum.
"Lining up the standards with assessment and curriculum is all well and good," said Alan Burke, deputy superintendent of the education department in Washington State. "But sometimes the mechanics and complexities of the waivers, plus the hundreds of pages and hours spent on all this, is maddening."
The federal government granted No Child Left Behind waivers to 40 states and the District of Columbia under the condition that the Education Department would have final approval over any changes made under the waivers.
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